Western Living Magazine
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Hop on a ferry to Galiano for a day trip that's a world away.
Drop your bags in your suite (and clock the patio Jacuzzi for later use), because your first order of business is to hit the resort’s Madrona del Mar spa immediately—a massage out in the oceanfront cabana, all sea breezes and flowy white curtains, is island chill at its indulgent peak.
The white-shell beaches here date back more than 3,000 years, but they aren’t the only striking feature of this sprawling peninsula park. Take your time hiking the easy Gray Peninsula loop trail, stopping to watch for the 130-plus species of birds that flock here and take a quick dip in the surprisingly warm water that some call the Mediterranean of the North.
The surf shack vibe of this casual-cool marina restaurant (closed through the winter) draws in plenty of locals, who linger all afternoon on the sunny patio drinking pints of B.C. beer, listening to live music and sharing platters of inventive tacos—curried cauliflower topped with green pea hummus, “herbes de Galiano” ling cod and sockeye salmon with slaw among them.
Galiano is lousy with artists for whatever reason, but Sandra Dolph’s personal gallery is a standout. Built within the hollow walls of an ancient cedar tree, the outdoor display is a work of art in itself; the fact that her ceramics, influenced by traditional Japanese pottery and her coastal locale in equal measure, are beautiful too is a bonus.
The hyper-local, hyper-whimsical gourmet restaurant in the woods is a foodie destination (a pilgrimage, if you will) since being named one of enRoute’s Best New Restaurants a few years back. Make a reservation to make sure you get a chance to taste chef Jesse McCleery’s wildly inventive fare: think fermented barley grits with duck egg and beef heart tartare on foraged sea lettuce.